Bates Family South Seas Sabbatical travel blog

The Cambridge site

The Prematch Wear

At the game

Rotorua was fantastic. We have finally got to grips with the beast that is our IVECO van and just about sorted how to live as a family of four in a space rather smaller than our en suite bathroom at home. The smell of sulphur is slightly nauseating but the billowing steam emanating from eveywhere was pretty and eerie by turns. We visited the Maori heritage site and watched a haka and various more peaceful maori dances and songs. As I had volunteered to be the chief of the tour group we sat right at the front and I had to do the hungi (nose press greeting)with all the performers. The geysers and mudpools were pretty spectacular too and kept the boys interest for 3 hours. And to cap it all the city boasted 3 curry houses. We could have stayed for weeks!

However with the forthcoming match we left Rotorua this morning, pointing the rig for Hamilton. We have been warned about the 1500-strong campervan Barmy army and soon discovered that all powered berths in Hamilton were taken months ago. In England whether or not the van had power seemed an irrelevancy. Now we are here it is a necessity. Although the weather has changed from cold and clear to cold and wet, there is one unchanging variable. No power means no heat. As our onboard gas heater is so poorly designed that it only heats the underside of the bed and that only at the noise level of a steel mill, this is not an option. We NEED electricity. Electricity is good.

So we decided to be a bit clever and found a site 30 minutes from Hamilton in Cambridge. Cambridge is famous for farming (?studding) horses and its European trees. As you might imagine it is rather quiet. We are currently sited in the middle of a green field with a couple of caravans for company. Still maybe the hoards will arrive tomorrow?

Love to all Gordon

After last nights' ordeal on the dreadful computer at the previous site, this is warm and luxurious. It was like going out on Bonfire night last night- wearing hats and gloves and coats in the dark with the steam looking like a bonfire and the smell of sulphur- all very peculiar in June. It is all terribly disorientating, as it all looks a lot like the USA- Key west type wooden houses everywhere, with autumnal leaves and Lions rugby stuff everywhere.

I'm not going to write more at the moment, but will write a few emails. Lots of love Ness x

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